Class Action Lawsuit against The Butchers/Marlon’s Meat in Toronto

I’ve been following this story since one of my friends notified me of this incredible deal for The Butchers organic meats – $99 for $400 worth of organic meats. I thought that sounded interesting, but at the time I didn’t feel comfortable with those online group deals, so I didn’t partake. Over the next few days he kept sending me the same deal but from different websites. I questioned their validity, but he seemed unfazed.

Fast forward a few months, chaos ensues, no one is getting their meat from The Butchers (not to be confused with The Friendly Butcher, The Healthy Butcher – they’re legit) and everyone was and currently are still, trying to get their money back. Unfortunately there hasn’t been much success for the consumer.

According to Marlon Pather (the owner), it’s a big sob story for them – they were over zealous, naive and signed up for too many coupon deals and now were bound by poorly written contracts blah blah blah. The coupon companies are, obviously, not taking responsibility either. The solution? A mystery. The Butchers began to only take orders from coupon holders during restricted store hours claiming the demand for meat was overwhelming and some municipal governing body required them to do so in order to keep the meat “in regulation.” Soon after that The Butchers closed down for renovations to accommodate the demand. Approximately half a year goes by, The Butchers re-opens their door but as Marlon’s Meats.

Let’s play a the Assumption Game.

The owner, Marlon, had a reputation for providing quality meats (might not be true, but it’s the assumption game). He decides that he’ll be a bit greedy, increase his revenues by getting in on the the group buy/coupon phenomenon. So not only does he sign up for one, but signs up for many – Webpiggy, Dealgetters, DealFind, Dealtickers, TeamBuy and BuyTopia. Alright, Marlon claims being naive, but really? We can assume he knew exactly what he was doing. He uses the money he scams from the consumers to re-brand and renovate the old place in addition to opening a NEW STORE – Marlin’s Fish Shop (I believe this will be located close to the Meat store). Now he’s refusing to have any responsibility for the coupons and redeeming them. He had “extended” the coupons until Labour Day 2012, but when people can’t even get them – it’s just a lie.

I have researched and gone through MANY comments on other blogs, news sites and forums. There seems that a very very selected few have actually received refunds from the coupon companies and no one has actually gotten meats from the The Butchers/Marlon’s Meats. People are still talking about it and consumers are still trying to get their money back.

Here are all the “solutions” or “things you can do” to try to get your money back…or perhaps even some meat???

  1. Call your coupon company and harass them until they give you something.
    Apparently some consumers have had some luck with refunds this way. Some have received CREDITS, which isn’t the same as money…but, better than nothing? Apparently PETER from BUYTOPIA does something…
  2. Bring up the Consumer Protection Act in your Correspondence.
    We all have rights and we’re also protected…to a certain degree. (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_02c30_e.htm#BK17).
  3. File a Complaint with the Consumer Protection Branch.
    This seems to work for some (http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Complaint_Steps_to_File.aspx)
  4. Going Through the Credit Card Company.
    According to some people, they have been successful with going this route, but only with support from the Consumer Protection Branch. The latest success story I’ve read from someone doing this is from a post on RedFlagDeals forum on February 4, 2012.
  5. Legal Action – class-action lawsuit
    There have been some/many who have expressed interest in filing a class-action lawsuit against The Butchers/Marlon’s Meats and all the coupon companies involved. I tried looking it up on the internet to see if it currently exists, but I couldn’t really find anything. I did see a person who is trying to round up those interested, you can email them (janus2810@hotmail.com).
  6. Legal Action – small claims.
    There are some individuals who have pursued by hiring their own lawyers to deal with the issue. It seems to work well.

Those are the most popular modes of action that I’ve encountered so far in my research. I’ve also heard of people garnering media backup and attention (Peter Silverman anyone? http://petersilvermanhelps.com/index.php/contact-us).

As for Marlon and his business(es), his website officially DOES NOT have an FAQ section outlining what coupon holders should do, it loads extremely slowly/doesn’t load sometimes, has no real information – only promises. Their twitter account once upon a time had ONE “test” tweet, since then, no tweets, no updates.

It seems this saga will not end anytime soon. It will be interesting as Labour Day 2012 approaches and what legal action(s) will be taken!

Good luck to all who are pursuing justice!

Other Sources:

http://www.davehamel.com/index.php/?cat=274
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/merged-butchers-aka-marlon-meats-organic-meat-feedback-discussion-999078/
http://trueler.com/2011/04/09/the-butchers-scam-webpiggy-dealfind/
http://trueler.com/2011/04/21/marlins-fish-marlons-butchery-meat/
http://www.blogto.com/grocery/marlons-meats-toronto
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15 Comments on “Class Action Lawsuit against The Butchers/Marlon’s Meat in Toronto”

  1. Steph says:

    Good afternoon fellow fraud victims!

    If you’re interested in an attempt to recover some or all of the money you spent at The Butcher’s Organic/Marlon’s Meats, please email suemarlonpather@gmail.com.

    I am not a lawyer. I am, however, betting that Mr. Pather and his accomplices have assumed that the individuals he defrauded will not be able to work together to pursue him. I’d really like to prove him wrong and I’m willing to administer a list of people interested in a class action. Once a reasonable number of people have indicated their willingness to participate in a class action civil suit, I will communicate our options via email. If we have an overwhelming response (fingers crossed) I intend to form a committee of interested individuals to manage the process.

    Your information will NOT BE SHARED without your explicit permission and will be only be communicated to the lawyer that we ultimately engage to represent us.

    Please note that harassment will not be tolerated and will be reported to the authorities.

    Please provide
    1. your name
    2. a daytime telephone number
    3. your email address
    4. the terms of the deal you purchased

    Looking forward to hearing from you! Please spread the word and don’t hesitate to be in touch!

    Best,
    Steph

  2. […] have also received a comment on my original post about Marlon’s Meat on a more unified class-action suit against Marlon Pather and his organization: Good afternoon […]

  3. sarsteele says:

    I stupidly believed Marlon when he posted on his website that coupons would be honoured until Labour Day. Check out his comment on blogto:
    http://www.blogto.com/grocery/marlons-meats-toronto
    Turns out he’s now leaving until October, coupons are now all expired and won’t be honoured, but guess what, we lucky fraud victims get first in line to buy yet another coupon program he will be offering! I’m asking Webpiggy for my money back, we’ll see…

    • foodyummers says:

      I can’t believe he said victims get to buy the next coupon and that he’s “away in Europe” on business until October. I hope no one ever buys from Marlon…ever!

  4. Debbie says:

    Where you may also want to focus your efforts is with Buytopia. It is Buytopia who should have been screening their vendors and established the contract with The Butchers. In speaking with Buytopia, they are not giving any refunds because they do not have the capital to do so. They mentioned that the are pursuing legal action, this is not completely the case, they are still in mediation with the Butchers, there isnt any formal legal action taking place at this time. This is not the first shady deal Buytopia has engaged in, refer to the La Vie en Rose deal that promised 50% off – actually it was 30% http://trueler.com/2011/12/29/false-advertisement-buytopia-la-vie-en-rose-boutique/
    One may want to consider how ethical and reliable Buytopia is.

    • foodyummers says:

      I hear some people are able to get credit with Buytopia and Webpiggy – not sure if this is just for a very select few or if they’re openly giving out credit. Credit is definitely better than nothing.

  5. Sue Marshall says:

    hello, I also was ripped off. big time..I purchased 3 coupons and my daughter purchased 2….thru Deal find…. no expiry, however all of last year I could not redeem my coupons.. I even spoke to a guy named Micheal on June 6, 2011.. told me to call back on Tuesday… I then spoke to a fellow Eric on June 10… told me to call back and speak to Micheal… I explained I need Micheal to call me and gave him all my info… If Micheal didn’t call me back, call back Tuesday… Never got thru to anyone after that and the store closed in July 19, – Aug 17.. to redo store.. Still cannot get any help with this and the phone number is no longer in service…

    • Maria says:

      We phoned Dealfind as soon as Marlon’s started putting restrictions on the vouchers and got our money fully refunded. We may have been lucky since it was near the start of the whole mess. If you haven’t tried, call Dealfind.

  6. Daryl Burdick says:

    Marlon has beaten the system and has taken advantage of all of us. I purchased one of the first coupons, tested it, and all was successful and exceptional meat. I then purchased 10 coupons from Dealfind – no expiry, and subsequently another 12 from Webpiggy ($1800 in total). Figured 1 per month, I was able to use about 4.5 of the coupons before all the trouble began. Dealfind gave me all my money back as they supposedly started litigation early and so I believed I had no option, as I still believed Marlon’s story. I have no concerns buying from Dealfind in the future as they protected me as a consumer.
    Webpiggy, I believed we could still work something out as I just wanted the meat, but Marlon kept us all on the hook as many have stated before me. I even tried the online order process that took a few months (post reno opening) and when I showed up he told me that he had given out all the coupon meat for the day (2 min after opening that Saturday and my order was confirmed by his people…) and then he told me to try the process again??? I called him a criminal to his face and he told me to leave. WebPiggy also gave me the remaining full coupon funds back in the form of credits. ty.
    Even if Dealfind is successful in suing, it will take years and cost way too much money, Marlon will get a slap if he shows up for it, maybe be forced to pay back something. But here is my issue, what about the enormous interest free loan he received from all of us. If I was given millions for nothing, and invested it over 2-3-4 years, even if I had to pay it back, I would have made a ton of money.
    Fortunately, I personally have received most of my money back in either cash or credits. But as I stated at the beginning, why is it possible that this deadbeat can get away with such blatantly fraudulent and criminal activity. Maybe because we are nice Canadian’s! I hope the courts nail this guy to the wall and set precedence as I’m afraid to buy anything from any of the other deal companies outside of Dealfind/Webpiggy, and even then, I’ve lost most of my trust/interest in experimenting simply because I do not want the frustration even if protected.

  7. Teddy. says:

    i believe that im the few who came out on top of this. Got at least $300 worth of meat of off Marlon and got a refund back from buytopia. All I did was act all nice and supportive of Marlon and he gave me my meat.

  8. Lee White says:

    Webpiggy gave me a credit back, without any issues. They were very good about in. No questions. I wish Marlon was the same.

  9. habidi says:

    buytopia will also refund your money in full if you threaten to sue them. they are good at giving you the run around, offering you credits, just remember buytopia also made a fortune on this things.

  10. […] read some of my previous posts about The Butchers/Marlon’s Meat and their coupon fiasco: here and […]

  11. tendim says:

    Hi.

    ” According to some people, they have been successful with going this route, but only with support from the Consumer Protection Branch. The latest success story I’ve read from someone doing this is from a post on RedFlagDeals forum on February 4, 2012.”

    Not necessarily; I simply made a phone call to my CC company, told them what happened, and received a credit back to my account that day. No need to involve the CPC.

    I hit a snag when the CC company completed their investigation and said that Buytopia was not at fault, so they tried to re-charge me. The truth is in the details, you have to go throught he fine-print of the terms & conditions from Buytopia and illustrate that because the vendor did not honour the agreement, and they have demonstrated a pattern of not honouring the agreement for anyone, Buytopia is indefault. When that was pointed out, they promptly re-refunded the money to my account. I haven’t heard a word from them since.

    If push comes to shove, just lay it out on the line: If the CC company refuses to refund the $$, you will close your account. They would rather refund $100, and be able to charge you annual fees forever (at $120/year for some CCs like mine), than lose that cash flow.

  12. Mike says:

    Anyone who thinks they are getting 400$ worth of organic meats for 99$ is a maroon.


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